Category: ads

Gen Z Hates Your Ads … but They Love Your Videos

One hope for display

How do we solve for the death of display and consumer aversion to ads? Create a better experience for the end user, and start doing that with the video medium they embrace.

In fact, the industry has been morphing into video, and the speed at which it’s happening is picking up. Facebook has been quickly releasing new video-ad formats; shoppable video ads appear on Snapchat and Instagram; and Twitter partnered with Bloomberg Media on 24-hours-a-day news streaming.

Video completely reinvigorates a consumer’s end experience with an ad. For example, AOL found that mobile video ads are five times more engaging than standard banner ads, with technology and business verticals seeing over 800% higher engagement. Additionally, ads that incorporate video drive 9X as many post-click site visits as standard display ads.

Video is a versatile, engaging and sharable format — three key factors that any ad today needs to break through the noise in a saturated digital landscape.

Not only can video quickly deliver a message in an engaging way, people share well-crafted video with others. No one shares a display ad unit with their friends.

The static display ad will become one of those relics our children laugh about because, eventually, video will move into its rightful place as king of advertising. The industry needs to embrace this, and focus on better video user experiences (new formats, best practices on length, content and brand safety).

If the “Snapchat” generation is a barometer for what the future of consumer ad expectations will be, experience needs to overcome thoughtless monetization. It’s time for all advertisers — and the ad tech companies they rely on — to deliver.

Mobile Usage Trends on YouTube [Infographic]

Last week, YouTube announced an amazing stat – the platform now serves a billion hours of content per day to viewers. That figure towers over last reported numbers from Facebook (100 million hours of video content per day) and underlines why YouTube is still the key destination for online video content.

Yes, Facebook video is on the rise, and live-streaming is growing, but YouTube has become part of our interactive process – searching for something on YouTube is now as commonplace as ‘Googling’. Any brand planning a video content strategy needs to consider YouTube in that mix.

And here’s another YouTube stat to consider – according to this new infographic from comScore, 70% of all time spent on YouTube is now conducted via mobile device. comScore’s data underlines the importance of mobile for YouTube – which lead to them creating a new data report on mobile video metrics for YouTube and its channels.

While YouTube content is obviously optimized for mobile by default, the data underlines the importance of considering the mobile experience when creating YouTube content, along with some important mobile consumer trends to keep in mind.

Check out the full infographic below.

Consumers are ready for media via IOT

Brands and marketers may want to take a tip as to why people own smart or Internet-connected devices.

The operative word here is useful.

While the majority of U.S. consumers own at least one connected device, the top characteristic of the most popular devices is that they are useful above all else, based on a new study.

While most 97% consumers are aware of connected devices and 62% of consumers own at least one, the reasons for ownership vary.

The study comprised a survey of 1,200 adults representative of the U.S. population conducted by Maru VCR&C for the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The most popular connected device in the home, of course, is the connected or smart TV with smart glasses at the tail end. Here are the connected devices owned by consumers:

  • 47% — Connected/smart TV
  • 24% — Wearable health tracker
  • 17% — Internet-enabled home control devices
  • 16% — Connected car
  • 13% — Smart watch
  • 11% — Internet-enabled voice command systems
  • 11% — Internet-enabled appliances
  • 10% — VR headsets
  • 7% — Smart glasses

Without the smart TV, the connected things market would not look so robust.

Most significantly the key driver of popular devices is usefulness. In the top four most popular connected devices, that characteristic is number one, ahead of convenient, innovative, luxury item or cool. Here are the top attributes of the top products owned, according to ownership level:

  • 47% — Useful: Connected/Smart TV
  • 24% — Useful: Wearable health tracker
  • 17% — Useful: Internet-enabled home control devices
  • 16% — Useful: Connected car
  • 13% — Luxury item: Smart watch
  • 11% — Luxury item: Internet-enabled appliances
  • 11% — Innovative: Internet-enabled voice command system
  • 10% — Fun: VR headsets
  • 7% — Unnecessary: Smart glasses

For brands and marketers, the Internet of Things is going to lead to new ways of advertising and many consumers seem OK with that.

For example, of those who own any IoT device, the majority (65%) are receptive to IoT advertising. The receptivity to advertising differs based on which device. By device, here are the percentage of consumers receptive to IoT advertising:

  • 95% — Smart glasses
  • 89% — VR headsets
  • 89% — Internet-enabled appliances
  • 87% — Connected car
  • 86% — Smart watch
  • 84% — Internet-enabled voice command
  • 78% — Internet-enabled home control
  • 72% — Wearable health tracker

As might be expected, nearly all connected home devices are currently connected to the Internet. This is true for Internet-enabled voice command systems (88%), home control devices (80%) and Internet-enabled appliances (69%).

Despite all of the new home connectivity, the smartphone remains the hub, at least for the short term. Almost all devices connect with smartphones, computers or tablets at least once a day.

More than half (55%) of consumers are willing to receive ads on their devices in exchange for coupons or discounts, which is consistent with other studies. Of current connected device owners, 65% are open to such ads.

Interest in getting a connected device by those who don’t already have one is pretty high (65%). The top connected device of those most interested in getting one is the connected or smart TV.

Television is not being replaced by the Internet of Things. It is becoming part of it.


IMMERSV LAUNCHES AD PLATFORM FOR VR APPS: In an attempt to get ahead of the impending wave of virtual reality content that will follow the widespread adoption of new VR headsets, former smartphone ad companies are looking for ways to promote VR ads. One such offering is Immersv, a new ad platform for VR content.

The platform, which launched last Thursday, works in a similar way to pre-roll ads, such as those on Facebook or YouTube. For example, a VR user playing a game or watching a video may be shown an ad for separate content and would then be given the option to download the app.

The benefit of VR video advertising is that it provides advertisers with the opportunity to fully immerse consumers in their world — on mobile, interactive videos are much more engaging than static ads, notes IAB. But the early stage of the VR market makes serving ads complicated. This is in part because of new formatting challenges associated with converting videos to run on VR devices, but also because developers don’t want to run the risk of upsetting users so early on with intrusive ads.

To address this concern Immersv ads are played like movie trailers, and require opt-in acceptance from consumers. Early trials of the new ad format suggest that consumers are taking to it. So far, its video ads have reported 80% completion rates. While promising, this is probably due in part to the novelty factor of the new technology and may not be representative of eventual completion rates.

But Immersv isn’t the only VR ad platform to emerge. Last year, another mobile ad network called AirPush went live with VirtualSky, its VR ad platform, with similarly high levels of interest from VR developers, according to Business Insider.  And as the smartphone ad industry gets increasingly competitive, it’s likely that other mobile ad tech groups will make the shift as well.

Are you watching Sunday? Please help me out

Been thinking a lot lately about modes of distribution, awareness and the evolution of engagement since I started The Buddy Group 10 years ago.

I am going to write a post on the topic and need your help.

Following Sunday’s game, please take 2 min to take my fun survey. I will release the results on Monday.

Much Appreciated!


Some focus on the user because it’s in their DNA. Others because the have to

2016 Year in Preview: Ad blocking will force the industry to put the user experience first
Ricardo Bilton @rbilton 11 hours ago
This essay is just one in a series of 10 produced by Digiday’s staff of reporters and editors in which we look to the major trends of 2016. We’ll be releasing a full series download with all 10 essays on Thursday. Sign up here for a copy.

If publishers weren’t thinking about the user before, they will in the coming year.

Spurred by Apple’s introduction of ad blocking to iOS in September, publishers and advertisers spent much of 2015 wavering between muted concern and outright panic over ad blocking’s potential effect on the future of the industry. Over 198 million people globally run ad blockers each month, according to anti-ad blocking firm PageFair, and Apple’s support risked increasing the magnitude of that existential threat even further.


But while the industry has obsessed over various wrinkles of ad blocking — how to fight the tech, whether ad blocking is unethical, etc — the ad blocking story’s actual importance became clear when it started forcing the hard questions about the role of the user experience in digital advertising, and whether the industry has completely forgotten about the people on the other side of the screen. In 2016, the discussion about ad blocking will expand beyond ad blocking to include user experience overall.

“Digital advertising has grown up a like a weed,” said Quartz publisher Jay Lauf. “We built all these sites and places for ads to live but rather than give real thought to the landscaping, we just let everything grow. Now, everyone is saying, ‘we’ve got kind of a mess here so we need to take a step back and clean things up.’”

Even the IAB conceded that the industry “messed up” by chasing automation and data collection at the expense the user experience. “Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty,” wrote IAB senior VP of technology and ad operations Sean Cunningham in October. At the same time the IAB introduced its “LEAN” program, a new set of creative standards meant to produce ads that are lighter, less resource intensive and, hopefully, less likely to encourage people to install ad blockers. This tack made sense to those who argued that the most effective way to fix ad blockers is to make better ads.

But while intrusive ads have borne the brunt of the industry’s blame for ad blocking’s rise, efforts to improve the user experience have gone beyond just ads. Vox Media, GQ and The Verge, for example, have taken deep looks at their sites, making small tweaks to various features that have had major effects on the sites overall. The result: page loading times for these sites have been cut by as much as 80 percent.

The problem is that spending the time and money to rebuild and optimize their sites is a frill that many publishers don’t feel they have. “When the next 90 days of the quarter are staring you in the face and you have to make numbers, it’s hard to take the long view,” said Washington Post chief revenue officer Jed Hartman. “It can be hard to find that balance.”

In other words, the realities of the business today mean that most publishers are more concerned with optimizing their ad yield than optimizing their site load times.

But the idea that publishers have to think about their bottom lines before their users is a false choice, said Lauf at Quartz. “You have to serve your real customer, your audience, first so you can have the foundation for a solid business. No one has the luxury anymore of ignoring the user experience.”

Few understand that dynamic better than the big tech companies, which have used the “spear of the consumer,” as Lauf put it, to battle each other as they pitch their new publisher initiatives this year. Facebook’s Instant Articles, for example, was premised on the idea that the sluggishness of publishers’ sites is driving users away. Likewise, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project was created to help publishers speed up their sites by trimming them of slow and unnecessary elements.

All of this should be a lesson to publishers. “The companies that are going to be successful down the line understand that content is a big differentiator but the entire experience is a part of that content as well,” said Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint. “It’s all about the entire package of speed and performance and technology. The consumer doesn’t differentiate between publishers based on content alone.”

Rishad Tobaccowala Pinpoints the Beginnings of a Tectonic Change in Marketing | Adweek

1. The title CMO needs to be done away with. Chief marketing officers need to become chief facilitating officers.

2. Marketers need to stop advertising—they need to offer utility. “People don’t want to see your stupid message,” he said (clearly implicating himself in his message as much as the audience).

3. Video will indeed be everywhere, but he encouraged marketers to look more at the YouTubes and Netflixes of the world than the CBS’s or NBCs. “The future more often comes from the slime than the heavens,” he said.

4. Owning data is an obsolete idea. The secret of success with data is how to access it and use it.

5. Mobility: “Where you are is just as important as who you are.”

6. Finally, one thing all marketers need to remember: “In a silicon world, we are still talking to carbon life-forms.” In other words, be human and tell stories.